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Seeking Opinions


I have ZERO CONFIDENCE that the VARO has any intention to allow a favorable decision on my behalf at a DRO hearing.

The VARO's pattern of ignoring ALL of my favorable evidence, and development to deny my claim has led me to the above conclusion.

Some claims have been denied WITHOUT a C&P exam even though my service treatment records show traumatic injuries happened to me, and I have current medical diagnosis of residual disabilities from those injuries.


If you want a clear drink of water, you have to go to the head of the stream.

The St. Petersburg VARO is taking 3-4 years just for a DRO review. 


It would NOT be logical to wait in line that long for what I'm convinced will be a denial, and then wait ANOTHER three or four years for a chance to get my appeals heard at the BVA level.

The BVA MAY award some of my appeals... but I am certain they will remand some of my appeals back to the VARO for more evidence development in the form of more C&P exams, which the VARO was aware SHOULD have been done to begin with, had they followed the rules in their regulations manual.

It's a vicious cycle(appeals) and I am much aware of why vets have called the disability claims/appeals process a "Hamster Wheel".


I am aware that a DRO review is supposed to be a fresh look.

That is words. 

Words with no substance from where I stand.

Each person has different experiences. 


I don't think my attorney intends to perfect the appeals until AFTER a SOC(VARO denial) is issued.

Once that happens, attorneys must put forth significant effort to win.


I AM aware that some vets have gotten awarded at DRO reviews, but I'm not feeling it will be in my best interest to do so.

Each case is different.


Well here goes......

Edited by 63Charlie

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Ever consider taking it to the Press? If you can find a sympathetic ear, they might do a story on the issue.

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I can tell you from my experience with the St. Pete RO since 1994. DRO, CUE and all that is usually a waste of time. I never got anywhere with my claims untill they went into appeals and I got a lawyer involved, just pick a good one. A good lawyer will keep your claim out of the AMC, which is a black hole, and will tell you all these hail Mary attempts are just going to add years to your claims. 

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I hate cameras.




My attorney is going to pull the DRO hearing request, stating the results at the St. Pete VARO haven't been so good.

Going to request a SOC to be issued so the form to get me in the BVA waiting line can be filed.

Happy my attorney is going this route.

Edited by 63Charlie
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63charlie, sounds like a plan. You probably know this, however, a BVA hearing is always a good thing. I had mine in 2005 at St. Pete. and was able to look my BVA Judge in the eye, state my case and ask questions. This also allowed the inevitable mistakes that are always in the SSOC to be addressed. I don't know if hearings are still done that way but I believe it helped me win my appeal+the lawyer used excerpts from the hearing as evidence that sort of painted the Judge into a corner using her own words.

Good luck on the long haul. Just remember, [and I hope this has not changed either] they had to pay me retro from 1996 when I won the claim in 2009, one year after I finally hired the Lawyer and quite trying to go it alone to save a little bit of money. Anyway, the lawyers don't get the 20% on remands, the Gov. pays for that, and that money  somehow is taken off your final award. I did not explain that very well, but the point is; a good part of the Lawyer's fee will be paid by the VA and not out of your pocket when you win.

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get the appeal going with the BVA

take some time and get some money together for a good IMO

be ready to hand the new IMO to judge.

file for hardship advancement on docket if you can..

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